3 Reasons Why Chimney Chase Covers Are So Important
What is a Chimney Chase Cover?
A chase cover (sometimes called a chase pan, top flashing, or top pan) is a square or rectangular piece of metal that is fitted to sit securely on top of your chimney chase, helping to keep water and other environmental elements out. The chase cover is exposed to the sun, wind, and other damaging elements year-round.
Why is a Chimney Chase Cover so Important?
Understanding the different components of your chimney can help you maintain it for future use while keeping your family safe. A chimney is, after all, a hole in the roof of your house that helps control fire, and smoke. Both elements can be damaging to your home, safety, and health if not taken care of properly. Below are the main components of a chimney:
The bricks compose the foundation of your chimney. If left unmaintained or damaged, your safety and the structural integrity of your chimney are at risk. Damaged bricks can lead to structural damage to your chimney and home, as well as moisture and water damage that can lead to dangerous mold and mildew.
- Chimney Flue
The flue is a vertical shoot that allows combustion materials to exit your home. Homeowners are required by law to line the flue.
- Chimney Liner
Usually composed of ceramic tiles, the Chimney liner lines the flue to prevent fire and smoke damage to the chimney and the house. Liners must be free of cracks or splits. Use of the chimney should be prohibited if there are any cracks present in the liner.
- Chimney Cap
Helping to prevent roof fires, the mesh used in a chimney cap helps to contain sparks from the fireplace. In addition to preventing sparks from escaping, the chimney cap helps keep outdoor elements like rain, snow, debris, animals, and insects from entering your home.
- Chimney Chase Cover
Used to cover the opening of the chimney, and most commonly made out of copper or stainless steel, chimney chase covers can be made available in several material options, including:
- Stainless and Galvanized Steel
- Chimney Flashing
Located where the chimney meets the roof, a chimney flashing’s purpose is to protect the roof of the house along with the rooms below it from fire and water damage. Chimney flashing is often made out of vinyl, aluminum, copper, or steel to seal the area when the chimney goes into the roof.
- Chimney Crown
The slab of concrete at the top of the chimney. The chimney crown, also known as the chimney wash prevents water from entering the chimney.
- Fireplace Damper
Also known as the throat damper, this chimney component is located at the throat of the chimney, above the firebox. The damper can be closed when the fireplace is not in use, so that heated or cooled air won’t escape the house.
- Smoke Chamber
Located between the flue and the damper, the smoke chamber compresses combustion byproducts so they can exit through the chimney rather than reentering your home.
The chase cover helps protect both the exterior and interior components of the chimney. When damage occurs to the external part of your chimney, like a domino effect, there is almost always damage to the interior of your flue system, fireplace, and even your home.
Damage to the chase cover is often caused by water buildup and rust. Water damage is usually caused by flat or improperly installed chase covers. This sort of water damage can be prevented by cross-breaks or a dome effect, allowing water and debris to flow AWAY from the chimney.
By the time most people notice the inadequacies in their chase covers, the costly damage to the chimney, roof, or fireplace is already done. This is why it is so important to have annual inspections and maintenance by a knowledgeable CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep who can provide you with the proper service and suitable parts for your system.
Neglecting to maintain your chimney chase cover will eventually lead to chimney flute, roof, fireplace, and home damage. Backdrafts in your chimney due to damage and neglect can snuff out your fire and force smoke back into the home, making regulating temperatures in your house difficult. Every chimney is unique, so a thorough inspection before a repair is highly recommended.